* HSI -0.6 pct, H-shares -0.3 pct, CSI300 -0.2 pct
* Indexes gain from day's lows, cash fears ease as money
* HSI in 6th weekly loss, longest streak since October 2008
* Galaxy Entertainment falls again after JP Morgan downgrade
By Clement Tan
HONG KONG, June 21 Hong Kong and China shares
suffered another weekly loss, but on Friday pared hefty early
losses thanks to a recovery in some Chinese bank counters after
mainland funding costs fell, easing fears of a broader banking
Traders said there was fresh buying in the offshore Chinese
market in some of this week's worst-hit sectors and firms with
better balance sheets. Some short covering in index futures and
exchange-trade funds (ETFs) also helped.
The Hang Seng Index closed down 0.6 percent at
20,263.3 after starting the day off 2 percent and below the
20,000-point mark. The China Enterprises Index of the
top Chinese listings in Hong Kong slipped 0.3 percent.
The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and Shenzhen
A-share listings slipped 0.2 percent, while the Shanghai
Composite Index declined 0.5 percent. Both posted a
third-straight weekly loss, sinking 4.1 percent to the lowest
since Dec. 14.
Both Hong Kong indexes had their sixth-straight weekly loss,
sliding 3.4 and 4.4 percent respectively. The H-share index was
at its most technically oversold in 15 years, with its relative
strength index at 17.7. On the technical momentum indicator, a
reading below 30 suggests an index is oversold.
Gains in Hong Kong came in the highest turnover in three
months, but much of the bump up was due to passive funds
recalibrating positions ahead of a rebalancing of FTSE indexes
effective from Monday.
"The bigger picture still remains awful, there's no need to
get too excited about some of the beta gains today," said Alex
Wong, director of asset management at Ample Finance. He said he
bought some long positions in high beta names and China telcos
for their relatively stronger cash positions.
"The meltdown in the last few days has been quite violent
and you have to remember some investors are still very
underinvested, so it's more about pre-weekend positioning," Wong
China banks were broadly weaker in Hong Kong, but pared
losses on the day, with the larger ones eking out gains. The
weighted average overnight bond repurchase rate -
a measure of the cost of funds - fell to around 9 percent by
midday from Thursday's close of 11.62 percent.
Some calm returned on Friday after rumours that some major
banks needing emergency funding were quelled. There was also
market talk the central bank had guided the biggest state
lenders to provide more short-term funds to smaller banks.
Shanghai volume improved marginally for a third day, but was
still some 18 percent below its average in the past 20 sessions.
In Hong Kong, Bank of Communication dropped 1.9
percent and China Minsheng Bank 2.1 percent. But the
country's two largest lenders, Industrial and Commercial Bank of
China (ICBC) and China Construction Bank (CCB)
climbed 1.1 and 0.8 percent, respectively.
In Shanghai, smaller banks produced gains. China Minsheng
Bank bounced 1.7 percent after closing at a
two-month low on Thursday. Everbright Bank rose 0.7
Shares of Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment
dived 8.4 percent, falling further from Wednesday's
record closing high after JP Morgan downgraded the stock from
overweight to neutral.
Sector rival Macau Legend Development Ltd
postponed an initial public offering expected to raise up to
$786 million, sources said on Friday. This was the third deal to
be delayed in Hong Kong in a month.
CALM BEFORE ANOTHER STORM?
In Hong Kong, some China coal miners, independent power
producers and insurers were among the outperformers on the day.
China Shenhua Energy climbed 2.3 percent, reversing
losses after testing a four-year low.
New China Life Insurance (NCI) surged nearly 9
percent to its highest in two weeks in Shanghai but slipped 0.2
percent in Hong Kong. Central Huijin, China's state-owned
investment company, bought into the insurer's A-shares last
Huijin said late on Thursday it recently added ETFs in the
secondary market. On Monday, it confirmed increasing its stakes
in China's "Big Four" banks and earlier Huijin announced the
purchases in Everbright Bank and NCI.
The CSI300 is down 8.1 percent in 2013 and the Shanghai
Composite 8.6 percent, but they have outperformed offshore China
peers, as the H-share index in Hong Kong is down 19 percent and
the Hang Seng benchmark is off 10.6 percent. Both Hong Kong
indexes are at their lowest since September.
The Hang Seng China A-H Price Index briefly
touched a one-year high on Friday. This suggests A shares were
trading at the biggest premium over H shares since June 2012.
"Given this round of tightening may last longer and the
domestic macro conditions are generally worse, we will be
surprised if HSCE doesn't re-test its 2011 low (at about 8,102
points) before this round of the sell-off is over," said David
Cui, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch's China equity strategist in
a note dated June 20.
Short selling in Hong Kong accounted for 13 percent of total
turnover on Friday, compared with 15 percent on Thursday and 13
percent on Wednesday, versus a historical 8 percent average.